How to fix UTF-8 charset problem with IIS 7.5 and PHP FastCGI

October 18, 2010

The performance gains from using the FastCGI version of PHP 5 are obvious and the preferred method.  If you build apps that require encoding the page in UTF-8 character set you may have noticed that IIS7.5 overrides your settings. You may have tried explicitly stating  it in your php/IIS config or even on the page with “<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8″ />”  to no avail.   The problem resides in the implementation of the fastcgi module.

By default FastCGI uses ASCII encoding for server variables and there was no way to modify this behavior with the initial release. While just a mild annoyance with a content manager this quickly turns into a problem if you are using server variables that your web application requires to function when IIS7.5 forces the charset on you.  Up until last week there was no resolution for IIS7.5, Microsoft finally posted a hotfix that resolves this issue here. We have tested this and it does resolve the issue.

Ok, I installed the patch, now what? Instructions on how to deploy the charset fix?

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